James 2:14-17 – My brothers and sisters, what good does it do if someone claims to have faith but doesn't do any good things? Can this kind of faith save him? Suppose a believer, whether a man or a woman, needs clothes or food and one of you tells that person, "God be with you! Stay warm, and make sure you eat enough." If you don't provide for that person's physical needs, what good does it do? In the same way, faith by itself is dead if it doesn't cause you to do any good things. (GWT)
I received this note from a young fellow about his experience in our church. We have known him since he was a young kid and unofficially fostered him for awhile. He is now in his 40s.
- Hey Dad:
He was lost, sitting in the lil' church, waiting for all the folks to arrive. He was always lost. Not really bad. Just never felt like he fit. Long hair, threadbare, second-hand store look about him.
His foster dad was preaching and the folks that were coming through the door were smiling at and welcoming him. Some made pleasant small talk. All were warm.
A drunk came through the big doors. The good folks smiling welcomed him in and some made small talk. All were warm.
The drunk saw the young fella and his eyes lit up; a smile split his face. His handshake was like a huge hug from a long-lost brother. And the young man was home, in the presence of God's love.
All through that church morning, from the old drunk interrupting the service to the fighting with his girlfriend at the lunch after, he was welcome and the pastor treated him like he treated all his brothers and sisters in Christ. And his congregation followed his lead. We all sat downstairs and prayed together and ate together.
There are different parts to the body of Christ, and God's love was sent through a scruffy, belligerent, drunken old man on that Sunday morning.
The young man got baptized in that church and looks for the old drunk whenever he comes to visit … looking for home.
God's love is big (((( BIG!!!!! )))). I felt him in your fellowship; in your flock.
Dad, God's love isn't in the building by the road. He lives in your heart and in the sad heart of an old drunk. Your message is important and a great one. I just want to encourage you. To let you know that your people do welcome the unlovely, and the unlovely welcome their own. Keep up the good work, Dad. Don't let us lose that unlikely avenue for God's love.
Love ya! Love to Mom.
James 2:1-4 – My brothers and sisters, practice your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ by not favouring one person over another. For example, two men come to your worship service. One man is wearing gold rings and fine clothes; the other man, who is poor, is wearing shabby clothes. Suppose you give special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say to him, "Please have a seat." But you say to the poor man, "Stand over there," or "Sit on the floor at my feet." Aren't you discriminating against people and using a corrupt standard to make judgments? (GWT)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, in response to our faith in You, we seek to do good. Help us to recognize the opportunities before us and then to put our faith into action. In Jesus' name. Amen.